KAYSVILLE, Utah -- It has been a local legend for generations, heavily guarded on private land. Now -- for the first time -- Kay's Cross is being opened to the public as a haunted attraction.
A 20-foot tall stone cross with a big "K" embedded in it, Kay's Cross first appeared in the middle of a hollow in the late 1940s. No one really knows who built it -- or who bombed it in 1992.
"It was in the time of World War II, the Great Depression and in that era, cement probably wasn't easy to come by. Whoever built it was ambitious and they really wanted to build it," said Jared Peterson, who is opening "Haunted Kay's Cross."
Even today, many old timers in Kaysville refuse to speak of Kay's Cross. There are whispers that it is haunted.
"A lot of people say they've seen werewolves down here," Peterson said. "They've seen the cross glow if it's a full moon, and if you touch it -- it burns you."
There are many mysteries surrounding the cross and who built it:
- Is it a town marker? William Kay founded Kaysville (then known as Kay's Ward) and is the "K" for his namesake?
- The land was originally owned by the polygamous Kingston family, and some have said Kay's Cross is the scene of a gruesome murder-suicide where a man killed his seven wives, buried them around the cross and then hung himself from a nearby tree.
- Another account said there was a farmer who killed his wife in the hollow and erected the cross as a marker -- burying her heart inside (a similar version claims there is a treasure buried underneath it).
- The K could also stand for "Krishna Venta," a California cult leader who claimed to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ who passed through Kaysville in the late 1940s.
"It seems the most plausible," Peterson said of Krishna Venta. "He was a real person."
Over the years, the cross has attracted curious teenagers and also terrified them.
"It was night and we went down, were sneaking through there and trying to be really quiet because it was private property and you weren't supposed to be there," said Ermona Rigby, a Kaysville resident who recalled her adventure in the hollow as a teenage girl.
"I just don't even remember getting there, we got close and turned around and ran," she chuckled. "It was terrifying!"
Because the remains of the cross sit on private property, the owners of the orchard that surround it have had to chase out trespassers -- until now.
"We looked at it and said, 'So many people want to see it, we should create a way where we can come down and get a look at it, where they don't have to be afraid of being chased off or have the sheriff called on them," said property manager John Finley.
Peterson obtained permission from the property owners to open "Haunted Kay's Cross."
"It's the perfect place for a haunted house," he told FOX 13 News.
The haunted attraction leads people through a hollow to the massive remains of the cross -- decorated for Halloween. The attraction opens Friday the 13th and runs through the month of October.
"This will be their one chance to come and see it. It's the first time the owners have let someone on the property," he said.